Time for a Change?
November 17th, 2010

Before we get started, I want to thank all of you for your kind words and condolences in response to Monday’s post.  The loss of a horse isn’t exactly the most relatable experience in the world, and it means a great deal to me that you all offered your heartfelt support nonetheless.  Thank you so much for your virtual embrace.  It was warm and snuggly and just what I needed. 

If you could masquerade as someone else, would you do it?  If you could masquerade as a different version of yourself, would you do it?  What would it take for you to cast aside your existing notions of who you are and try on something else entirely?

I ask these questions because I recently had a conversation with a friend that traveled down this path.  My friend is single and nearing 40.  She confessed that she’d like to “have someone” when she turns 40 in a little more than a year.  This friend of mine is thoughtful, sincere, funny, and feisty.  I’ve long been amazed that some clever suitor didn’t snatch her up a long time ago.  But as we got to talking about it she confessed that she’s not good at meeting new people.  My friend, whom I’ve always found to be charming and outgoing, has a shy streak.

Interestingly, her shy streak develops a shy streak of its own when she travels.  She could strike up a conversation with anyone in a hotel bar, and easily chat over two or three drinks.  In these situations she knows she’ll never see her new friend again and abandons all traces of self-consciousness.  I asked her why she can’t behave the same way at home and she replied that she’s too worried that she’ll do or say something foolish and it will come back to haunt her (despite the fact that she lives in a huge city).

So I challenged her.  “What if you entered into a trial period?  What if you became your ‘travel self’ for a period of, say, 30 days?  Be as confident and unself-conscious as you would if you were in some other city and see what happens.  The measure of success isn’t whether or not you meet someone, but whether or not you regret having taken on this persona in your home town.”

As we talked more about it I wondered in what other ways this trial period could be applied.  Sure, it has limitations.  Someone who is inherently a class clown probably won’t turn into a wallflower, or vice versa.  But if there are aspects of ourselves that already exist, but lurk beneath the surface and need nurturing to really bloom, could we bring them out into the forefront of our personalities with a little nudging?  I say yes.  With a little honesty and a little gumption I think we can each find things we’d like to change about ourselves, but haven’t.

I’ll go first:  I want to be a person who goes shopping without an insurmountable magnetic pull toward cableknit sweaters.  I want to accesorize more boldly.  And I want to not worry about every purchase I make being “timeless.”  There are obviously more substantive changes you could make, but this is where I’m starting. 

So whom do you want to be?  What do you wish were different about yourself?  And would you be willing to try that person on for a month?  At the end of 30 days you could decide if this new version of yourself should stay or go.  In the meantime, you get to add a little adventure to your life.  Who’s in?

3 Responses to “Time for a Change?”

  1. Laura Trimble Taylor Says:

    Interesting Gale! I have been following your blog and you are so cute. My 30 day change would be to say “No” more often. It would be to let people know when I am over-booked or over-worked. This is really a good idea. Let’s see how it goes!


  2. Gale Says:

    Laura – Welcome to TDT! I didn’t know you’d were reading and am flattered to know that you are. I think your 30-day plan sounds like a great idea. I think lots of us are so inclined to always please others that we run ourselves ragged in the process. I hope that at the end of 30 days you find yourself less harried and more rested. I’m sure that will make it easier to keep yourself balanced moving forward. Thanks for commeting!

  3. Eva @ EvaEvolving Says:

    Me too – with the cableknit sweaters!! I’m so darn predictable. A few accessories would really help, and it would be a good challenge for me. Baby steps, Eva.